SECRETARY Corazon Soliman, of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) should be held liable for the reported dumping of relief goods intended for the survivors of Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas Region, an opposition lawmaker said.
According to Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Soliman cannot claim that she was not aware of the incident because it is her agency that is in charge of the ongoing relief efforts in the Yolanda-affected areas. “Local officials in the Yolanda affected areas have been asking for relief goods from day one and even up to now complaints about the lack of goods being distributed are heard only to learn that some of the donations were just left to rot,” Estrada said.
The senator noted that he was aware of the reported shortage of the relief goods in the Visayas so the DSWD cannot deny that there was a shortage of goods.
“I hope Sen. [Panfilo] Lacson will investigate the reported dumping of relief goods particularly those in Palo, Leyte,” Estrada said.
Lacson is the presidential adviser on rehabilitation and recovery tasked to oversee the ongoing reconstruction projects in the disaster affected areas in the country.
However, Lacson may not be able to conduct a parallel investigation on the relief goods mess because it is not in his mandate.
Several sacks of food donations in Palo, Leyte were left to rot and were subsequently ordered buried by local officials.
Estrada is convinced Soliman has command responsibility and that the wasted food donation is her fault.
“She [Soliman] must be held liable for those rotten relief goods that should have been distributed to the thousands of typhoon survivors who badly needed food supplied,” he insisted.
The Senate, Estrada said, could also conduct a separate investigation on the issue if Lacson cannot carry out the probe.